Fitzpatrick Skin Type Classification



By now, everyone that has ever worked with an IPL is well aware of the importance in understanding and recognizing the skin type they will be treating.  Working with the TRIOS is no different in that aspect, but what the TRIOS can do for you, is simplify the process with its intuitive software.  The practitioner must choose light, medium or dark for skin type and the TRIOS will do the rest.  Below, you’ll find useful information on the importance of knowing and using the Fitzpatrick scale.

The Fitzpatrick Skin Type Classification system was developed in 1975 by Harvard Medical School dermatologist Thomas Fitzpatrick, MD, PhD. This system classifies complexions and their tolerance of sunlight. It is used by many skin care professionals in order to determine how someone will respond or react to facial treatments.

This scale focuses on potentials for irritation—burns—and hyperpigmentation. Both can be good indicators of treatment choices. For example, Fitzpatrick skin type I clients have a greater tendency toward irritation, but less, theoretically, for developing hyperpigmentation, if it is not triggered. Conversely, the Fitzpatrick skin type VI client will not be as easily irritated and will have an inordinately high tendency toward pigmentation.

Type Color Burns Tans
I Very fair Always Never
II Fair Usually With Difficulty
III Normal/White Sometimes Average
IV Slightly Dark Rarely With Ease
V Dark Very Rarely Very Easily
VI Very Dark/Black Does not Burn Very Easily

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